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Intel Digital Health Group sees technology innovation a boon to healthcare industry

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Louis Burns, vice president and general manager of Intel’s Digital Health Group, today said technology innovation is poised to help the healthcare industry deliver better healthcare at lower cost, ultimately making people’s lives better around the world. As an example of where technology is intersecting human need, Burns demonstrated a mobile point-of-care platform designed specifically to address the unmet needs of nurses and physicians working on the front line of patient care.   

The mobile clinical assistant platform is the outcome of hospital workflow studies, nurse and physician interviews, and ethnographic research among nurses at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, California. It focuses on the healthcare community’s needs to enhance patient safety, reduce medication-dispensing errors and ease staff workloads. 

Products based on the mobile clinical assistant platform could offer a variety of features and technologies including: an exterior casing that can be wiped clean with disinfectant; radio frequency identification (RFID) technology for rapid user and patient identification; and barcode scanning to help reduce medication-dispensing errors. The platform could also include a digital camera to enhance patient charting and progress notes; Bluetooth technology to record patient vital signs; wireless connectivity to access electronic medical records systems. In addition to having a lightweight design, ergonomic features such as an integrated handle, and a spill- and drop-tolerant enclosure, the mobile platform could provide shift-long use made possible by swapping batteries while in a docking station. 

Motion Computing and Intel Collaborate

Motion Computing, the leading slate tablet PC provider worldwide, will be the primary original equipment manufacturer to introduce first-generation products based on the Intel mobile clinical assistant platform in the first half of next year. Motion is focused on designing tablet PCs for specific vertical industries including healthcare, field sales and service and government; healthcare makes up almost half of its business and is the company’s primary focus.   

To help prepare the market for products based on the mobile clinical assistant platform, Intel and leading industry suppliers, such as electronic medical records software vendors, will collaborate to further develop products and refine applications in addition to conducting ethnographic research in hospitals around the world.            

Continua Health Alliance

Burns also provided a progress report on the Continua Health Alliance, an open industry group formed to deliver interoperability in personal health and wellness devices, ranging from simple devices such as weight scales and treadmills to blood pressure cuffs and glucose meters.  

Since its introduction in June, the alliance has grown from 22 founding companies to 55. Burns also reported that the alliance will publish technical guidelines for healthcare device interoperability by the end of next year. Consumer products bearing the Continua logo are scheduled to be available in early 2008.             

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